Exodus 12:44
But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
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(44) Every man’s servant.—Slaves born in the house were required to be circumcised on the eighth day, like Israelites (Genesis 17:13). Bought slaves were allowed their choice. It is noticeable that the circumcised slave was to be admitted to full religious equality with his master.

12:43-51 In times to come, all the congregation of Israel must keep the passover. All that share in God's mercies should join in thankful praises for them. The New Testament passover, the Lord's supper, ought not to be neglected by any. Strangers, if circumcised, might eat of the passover. Here is an early indication of favour to the gentiles. This taught the Jews that their being a nation favoured by God, entitled them to their privileges, not their descent from Abraham. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, 1Co 5:7; his blood is the only ransom for our souls; without the shedding of it there is no remission; without the sprinkling of it there can be no salvation. Have we, by faith in him, sheltered our souls from deserved vengeance under the protection of his atoning blood? Do we keep close to him, constantly depending upon him? Do we so profess our faith in the Redeemer, and our obligations to him, that all who pass by may know to whom we belong? Do we stand prepared for his service, ready to walk in his ways, and to separate ourselves from his enemies? These are questions of vast importance to the soul; may the Lord direct our consciences honestly to answer them.Servant - The circumcision of the slave, thus enjoined formally on the first day that Israel became a nation, in accordance with the law given to Abraham, (see the margin reference) made him a true member of the family, equally entitled to all religious privileges. In the household of a priest the slave was even permitted to eat the consecrated food: Leviticus 22:11. 41. even the selfsame day—implying an exact and literal fulfilment of the predicted period. When thou hast circumcised him; for the master had a power to circumcise such persons, Genesis 17:12. And though it is probable, that by their interest in them, and a diligent instruction of them, they made them willing to receive circumcision, yet it seems they had a power to compel them to it; but then circumcision was not to them a seal of God’s covenant, nor of their religion, for that must be matter of choice, but only a civil badge, or a note of that family or people into which they were politically incorporated.

But every man's servant that is bought for money,.... And so his own property:

when thou hast circumcised him; as such an one ought to be, according to the covenant of circumcision given to Abraham, Genesis 17:13, though one should think not without his consent; wherefore care was to be taken to purchase such servants as would be willing to conform to that rite, and pains were to be taken with them to instruct them in it, and persuade them to it; to which, when they had submitted, they had a right to eat the passover, but if they did not, it was not allowed:

then shall he eat thereof; but not otherwise.

But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
44. But a foreigner, bought as a slave into an Israelitish family, may eat of it, if he is made a member of the Isr. community by circumcision. Slaves were regarded as members of the family, and, as such, were circumcised (Genesis 17:12-13, P), so that they might join in the family religious rites. ‘That is bought for money’ distinguishes the slave here referred to from the slave ‘born in the house’ (cf. Genesis 17:12; Genesis 17:23; Genesis 17:27), i.e. born of parents who were themselves slaves in the same establishment: a slave of the latter kind would, as a matter of course, be circumcised, and have a right to partake of the Passover.

Verse 44. - Every man's servant that is bought for money. Or "every man's slave." The Mosaic Law found servitude existing, and left it existing, only guarding against its extreme abuses (Exodus 21:20-27). It put no check on the traffic in slaves. When thou hast circumcised him. The Jewish commentators say, that the desire of the slave to receive the rite and become a Jew is here implied. But it would seem rather, that opposition and refusal is not thought of as possible (see Genesis 17:13, 17). The case is like that of baptism among the barbarous nations, where no sooner was the king converted than a general order went forth for the baptism of his subjects, which no one thought of resisting. Then shall he eat thereof. It was a principle of the Jewish law that the slaves should be admitted to complete religious equality with the native Israelites. (compare Leviticus 22:11). Exodus 12:44Regulations Concerning the Participants in the Passover. - These regulations, which were supplementary to the law of the Passover in Exodus 12:3-11, were not communicated before the exodus; because it was only by the fact that a crowd of foreigners attached themselves to the Israelites, that Israel was brought into a connection with foreigners, which needed to be clearly defined, especially so far as the Passover was concerned, the festival of Israel's birth as the people of God. If the Passover was still to retain this signification, of course no foreigner could participate in it. This is the first regulation. But as it was by virtue of a divine call, and not through natural descent, that Israel had become the people of Jehovah, and as it was destined in that capacity to be a blessing to all nations, the attitude assumed towards foreigners was not to be an altogether repelling one. Hence the further directions in Exodus 12:44 : purchased servants, who had been politically incorporated as Israel's property, were to be entirely incorporated by circumcision, so as even to take part in the Passover. But settlers, and servants working for wages, were not to eat of it, for they stood in a purely external relation, which might be any day dissolved. בּ אכל, lit., to eat at anything, to take part in the eating (Leviticus 22:11). The deeper ground fore this was, that in this meal Israel was to preserve and celebrate its unity and fellowship with Jehovah. This was the meaning of the regulations, which were repeated in Exodus 12:46 and Exodus 12:47 from Exodus 12:4, Exodus 12:9, and Exodus 12:10, where they had been already explained. If, therefore, a foreigner living among the Israelites wished to keep the Passover, he was first of all to be spiritually incorporated into the nation of Jehovah by circumcision (Exodus 12:48). פס ועשׂה: "And he has made (i.e., made ready) a passover to Jehovah, let every male be circumcised to him (i.e., he himself, and the male members of his house), and then he may draw near (sc., to Jehovah) to keep it." The first עשׂה denotes the wish or intention to do it, the second, the actual execution of the wish. The words בּן־נכר, גּר, תּושׁב and שׂכיר, are all indicative of non-Israelites. בּן־נכר was applied quite generally to any foreigner springing from another nation; גּר was a foreigner living for a shorter or longer time in the midst of the Israelites; תּושׁב, lit., a dweller, settler, was one who settled permanently among the Israelites, without being received into their religious fellowship; שׂכיר was the non-Israelite, who worked for an Israelite for wages.
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